Imagine having a market for as many as 21 different feedstocks. More than 600 members of the Show Me Energy Cooperative do. Farmers receive $45 to $60/ton for a variety of grasses and forbs that are made into biomass pellets and then co-fired with coal at an electric generation plant. The largest test burn in the United States with 22,000 tons of biomass pellets was completed in 2009 at the 385 MW KCP&L plant at Sibley, MO.

Farmers receive a price based upon each feedstock’s net energy value and moisture. Switchgrass, bluestem, fescue and miscanthus are the main feedstocks grown for Show Me Energy’s pellet production plant in Centerview, MO. But many other grasses, forbs and even storm-damaged wood are produced into pellets.

Show Me Energy was established in 2007 as a New Generation Cooperative (NGC). Producers have created NGCs to increase their share of the consumer dollar and to add value to their basic commodities through processing. Members of Show Me Energy’s 612-member cooperative sign year-to-year marketing agreements to produce a certain amount of biomass. These members come from 32 counties in west-central Missouri and eight counties in east-central Kansas.